Burger Kings in Franklin, Windsor close

Published 10:51 am Monday, October 27, 2008

Hungry people driving through Franklin and Windsor won’t be having it their way anytime soon.

Six Burger King restaurants operated by Azhar Holdings, LLC, closed their doors Friday — one each in Franklin, Windsor, Chesapeake and Smithfield and two in Suffolk. It wasn’t clear Monday how many employees would be affected by the closing.

On Saturday, the parking lot of the Franklin Burger King was cordoned off and an officer sat in a police cruiser on the property.

Earlier this month, the city of Franklin began taking steps to seize the assets of the company, which owes the city tens of thousands of dollars in meals taxes.

Azhar Holdings LLC is substantially behind on its tax payments in both Suffolk and Franklin. The company is a collections target in both cities.

Franklin had placed liens on four different bank accounts owned by the company, Franklin City Attorney Taylor Williams said.

Franklin requires restaurants to collect a 6.5-percent tax on meals served. The businesses are expected to file tax returns to the Commissioner of the Revenue by the 20th of each month, and to pay the taxes to the treasurer by the same date.

Williams said Azhar had neglected to file the returns or to pay the taxes during 2007, resulting in a denial being issued when the company sought to renew its business license this year.

The company started filing the returns again in January, and a payment plan was set up that resulted in payments being made in April, May, June, July and August. Those payments were based on current tax levels, but they were applied to last year’s costs, he said.

Penalties also are due on the outstanding balances, Williams said.